This month’s Autumn Statement will not reveal and major pension tax reforms.
Parliamentary questions are sometimes no such thing. Instead, they are mechanisms by which the government can reveal a decision on which it would prefer not to make a formal announcement. A good example (see below) occurred in late October in an exchange between Richard Graham, the Conservative MP for Gloucester, and the Chancellor.
What the Chancellor subtly stated here is that there will be no announcement on the outcome of July’s pension tax reform consultation until the next Budget proper, in March 2016. The delay can be read in a variety of ways. Either Mr Osborne needs extra time to refine another major overhaul, or the grand idea of an ISA pension is heading for the long grass after meeting more resistance and implementation problems than anticipated.
Alas, the statement does not guarantee there will be no changes to pension tax in the Autumn Statement. There have already been suggestions that one way the Chancellor could provide some funds to help out with his tax credit problems is to cut pension tax relief again. So what looked like a fresh period of grace to undertake some pension planning may not be so…
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.